Billy Currington Starts Celebrating 'Summer Forever': 'I Just Want Everyone to Be Happy'

Billy Currington photographed in 2015.
Joseph Llanes

Billy Currington photographed in 2015.

As much as Billy Currington is on the road, it's easy to imagine that the singer might tend to get a little confused from time to time as to his location at a given time.
"I always lose track of where I'm at," he told Billboard. "I was just asked yesterday by somebody where we were the night before. I couldn't recall it for the life of me. It goes by so fast and you go through so many cities. I need to write everything in a notepad. All the hotels and restaurants all tend to look the same after a few days!"

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This week looks like one of those weeks. The singer begins touring with Tim McGraw this Friday in Little Rock, Ark., but before that he will be making a number of media appearances around the country to support his sixth studio album, Summer Forever, which hits stores Tuesday. He said, "The next three weeks will probably be the busiest of the year for us."
Currington said he is approaching the album release like the birth of a child: "We've been working on this project for at least a couple of years now, so every song on there is your baby. When you finally get to turn it into your label and talk about what's going to be a single, it's a very exciting feeling." 

From publicity to radio promotion to liner notes and photography, there are so many aspects of putting together a release that the fans might not think of, the said. "There's so much that goes into it. You want everybody's name to be spelled correctly and everything to be perfect. I'm very passionate about the album and can't wait for people to get it."

The first single from Summer Forever, "Don't It," recently became his ninth Billboard No. 1. But in a business where a name alone does not guarantee chart success, he takes nothing for granted. "A number one is not the easiest thing to come by, so when they do come, it's exciting for everyone involved," he said. "There are so many people that are involved in making an album and keeping a career going, so when we have one -- we really celebrate. We're just very thankful for it. I feel very blessed to be in that bracket."

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Just like with 2013's We Are Tonight, the singer has chosen to focus on more positive subject matter than loneliness and heartbreak. "I don't want people to skip certain songs because one made them feel down or blue, or negative," he said. "Don't get me wrong. I love sad songs as much as anyone, but I'm also a big fan of making lighter music. I just want everyone to be happy."
One track that is sure to make an impact with the audience is "Drinkin' Town With a Football Problem," which the singer said took him back to his days growing up rooting for the local Effingham County Rebels in South Georgia. "That song reminded me of my high school hometown football team." he said. "But, at the same time, there are so many towns we have played in that resemble that too. It reminds me of so many places I've been a part of. I think a lot of people will relate to it."
The song, which was co-written by Granville Automatic and Arista recording trio The Henningsens -- really conjured up the essence of what his small-town existence was growing up, he said. "Football was so huge in our town. If you didn't play, you were going to the game. If you were anywhere in the vicinity, you were going to the game. There are so many memories of Friday nights that I have and cherish to this day."
Another highlight from the disc is the '70s styled "Good Night," which features some dazzling harmonies from Jessie James Decker. "That's one of my favorite songs on the album," he said. "It was sent to me by a friend of mine who runs a publishing company called Big Yellow Dog. She knows that I love that R&B soul flavor. So, when one of her writers turned that song in, she immediately sent it to me. I remember listening to it a hundred times that first night and recorded it about two weeks later. I've known Jessie for a while and she was the perfect match for the song."
The general feel of the song, as well as the album, will hopefully serve as a backdrop for road trips this summer -- or at least that was his aim. That means the feelings should hold true, no matter the location -- or whether or not Currington can remember its name. "When we were putting the album together, those were my thoughts -- people hanging out by the pool and cruising in the car down the Pacific Coast Highway," he said. "I wanted them to feel that laid back vibe. I think we accomplished that."